Over on Slate.com, author Helaine Olen offers the following fascinating article:
I’ll say upfront: I really like Amazon.com. I think the site offers a great way to buy (and in my case also sell) products.
HOWEVER, as the article notes, there is a big problem here regarding “knock-off” or counterfeit products. We’re talking about things such as clothing, phone cases, and, I’ve heard, even music CDs/DVDs.
When one buys a product, one expects to get what they asked for and not, as it will turn out, a cheap copy. As pointed out in the article, these cheap counterfeits hurt the creators of the original legitimate product in two ways: 1) By being much cheaper in price than the legitimate products, they undercut sales of the real product, sometimes to a very high degree. 2) Because they are cheap knock-offs, they tend to break quicker and this, in turn, angers customers who think they have bought the legitimate product. Bad reviews lead to worse sales and, sometimes, the legit creators are wrongly accused of building bad product.
At the risk of giving the entire article away, it is pointed out that Amazon.com is looking into this matter more now than they did before. Hope so.
I truly don’t want to start looking around to make sure that product X that I’m looking to order is what I think it is.